SPECIFIC STRATEGY FOR THE MEDALISTS VERSUS FINALISTS AND SEMI-FINALISTS IN THE MEN'S 200 M BACKSTROKE AT THE SYDNEY OLYMPIC GAMES

  • S. Girold
  • J. Chatard
  • J. Cossor
  • B. Mason
Keywords: swimming, biomechanics, performance, Olympics

Abstract

The performances of the men's 200 m backstroke at the Sydney Olympic games (final and semi-final) were studied using 12 video cameras. The four 50 m velocities, stroke frequency, stroke length, and turn velocities were calculated using a specific competition analysis computer program. The medallists swam faster than the non-medallists finalist in the three first 50 m laps of the race. However, these differences were not statistically significant. For the whole group (n = 16), the 200 backstroke velocity was mainly related to the second 50 m (r = 0.93, p<0.01). For the stroke frequency and stroke length, three different strategies were observed. The faster swimmers swam with a higher stroke frequency and a shorter stroke length than the slower swimmers.